Dental veneers are an appendage to the natural, by and large healthy teeth, in a form of thin plates or flakes that are placed on the front side of the teeth in order to improve teeth’s appearance, and, to a degree, their function. Veneers emerged in the early days of Hollywood as a method actors used to perk up their looks, and, beginning in the 1990s, with the advent of durable composite materials, veneers have become a popular choice for getting rid of different dental imperfections.
The materials used to fabricate veneers are composite and ceramic. Composite veneers are esthetically inferior to ceramic veneers, they require more frequent corrections, and are not as long-lasting, but their strong point lies in the fact that they are much easier and far cheaper to fabricate compared to ceramic veneers. On the other hand, ceramic veneers are a perfect solution in every respect if you wish to recreate the natural look of your teeth, and only if, of course, the dentist has given their consent as well.
Placement of veneers is largely similar to placement of crowns onto healthy teeth. First, a model of the tooth is made by way of impression or a 3D scan, then, the teeth are recontoured, normally not deeper than 0.3 mm per tooth and then a patient gets temporary veneers until permanent ones are fabricated. In case of no-prep veneers or composite veneers, there is no interim period requiring temporary veneers, but the patient gets the final veneers straight away if they are composite, or goes home after taking impressions and then comes for the placement of no-prep veneers once they are done. Veneers are cemented onto teeth (or are applied in layers if composite) and a patient can have fully functioning teeth practically straight after the placement.
An ideal candidate to have veneers possesses all natural teeth, meaning they do not have any artificial crowns placed. In case of missing teeth, we have to introduce caps, as well as bridges on teeth adjacent to the ones receiving veneers. It is not possible to place a veneer onto a tooth which has already been contoured (reduced) to receive a crown, and so often in our practice we combine veneers and crowns. Of course, a more detailed examination will tell us if veneers are the right choice for a patient, looking into the condition of oral cavity, especially gums, but also the jaws. If there are any problems, such as sore gums, we first have to treat these before embarking on a veneer procedure.
Ceramic veneers are the best esthetic solution to enhance your smile. The material used does not differ in appearance from your natural teeth. Additionally, veneers do not enlarge the volume of teeth, and the patient is consulted when choosing the colour shade. Many people fear that their teeth will be too shiny and white after the procedure, but the latest types of veneers are translucent and ensure a more natural look.
The procedure of placing veneers is the least invasive method to upgrade the colour tone of your teeth, position and shape. Veneers may be ceramic or composite, and the ceramic version is placed after minimally contouring (reducing) your teeth, or even skipping contouring altogether by using no-prep veneers. No-prep veneers are very thin flakes which are cemented onto teeth and this procedure is completely pain-free, with minimum visits to your dentist, which is a major advantage for some. With no-prep veneers you can even avoid the sensitivity to cold and hot inherent in enamel reducing procedures, the only rule being not to drink soft drinks for a few days after the procedure.
At Cvejanović Clinic, we use the CAD/CAM approach (computer-aided design and manufacturing) on a CEREC machine which guarantees perfect esthetic results, creating veneers in as little as one hour. Sometimes it is required to enhance a veneer’s colour shade in a ceramic oven which may take a little more time. No-prep veneers require two to three visits to our clinic, and the whole procedure may be over in as little as three days. It all depends, naturally, on how many teeth does a patient wish to treat.
Is it possible to have only a couple of veneers on front teeth?
We can place a veneer on only one tooth, but although you may adjust the colour shade to reflect the neighbouring natural teeth, dentists advise and patients usually opt to place the same number of veneers on both jaws.
Patients mostly choose to have veneers placed on the visible front teeth, which, depending on the size of your smile, may require 6 or more teeth. It is possible to place a veneer on only one tooth if so desired by the patient, or even on only two, mostly central incisors. The patient has the final say, taking into account the limitations of their own teeth.
If a veneer chips off, the best thing to do is save the chipped piece if possible and bring it to your dentist. In most cases, a seasoned specialist will be able to repair the damage, and if this cannot be done, then we go about replacing it with a new veneer.